California poised to go further than any state to insure the undocumented—too pricey, or about time?
By Elizabeth Aguilera
As California moves closer than ever to offering free health care to low-income undocumented adults—at a potential cost of $1 billion—battle lines are being drawn about who should benefit, and who ultimately will pay the price . . .
Estimated cost of the Medi-Cal expansion to young adults: from $96.1 million in the first year.
The state Senate’s plan to include seniors boosts the costs by an additional $94.5 million in state funds annually.
“I don’t know why the people of California, the taxpayers, should be providing additional funding to people who are undocumented. It’s going to be very expensive,” said Sally Pipes, president of the conservative Pacific Research Institute, based in San Francisco. “A lot of people who have been successful are leaving the state of California and we don’t want to put more burden on those who create jobs.”
. . . Adding more undocumented immigrants to Medi-Cal will make it harder for those “legitimately on Medi-Cal” to receive care, warned Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute. “Doctors are reimbursed about 40 percent below what they get paid from private insurance. Doctors are not taking Medi-Cal, and that puts pressure on emergency rooms.”